Before I clean my house, I organize! My chores are completed from the inside out. If my organization is lacking — my world is a mess.
I didn't fully realize how many steps that I take in attempt to get my family scheduled and organized until I opted to share them on this blog. Normal people may want to adopt just one.
Here are them all —
The School Calendar — The family needs a yearly calendar to flip through. Instead of writing important school dates from my daughters' school into another yearly calendar, I use the school calendar itself which already has those dates noted. I add to the calendar events that are happening throughout the year. No details. Just basic info. This is needed so others can glance at the calendar and not plan for conflicting events. This hangs on the inside of one of our kitchen cabinets.
The Pink Binder — The pink binder is for my daughters, ages 6 and 8. It is full of sheet protectors and tabs to separate general school info/procedures, class info, and then extra-curriculars. For us this means Girl Scouts (for each), Karate, gymnastics, CCD, and recreation events. I do not put any dated material which needs action in the pink binder. That has a different home.
Erin Condren Planner — Of all of the little tricks that I have going on, my Erin Condren planner is by far the biggest organizational step that I take. The planner is about 1 1/2" thick — full of my goals, appointments, schedules, blogging plans, and more. I have tried just about every planner app out there and NOTHING compares to writing my plans down. Aside from writing out a check here and there, think about all of the times that you use your handwriting in a day ... Exactly!
Family Command Center — This replaced a dusty chore chart last year and gets much more use. As I was describing this set-up to a friend, I could hear the crazy coming from my mouth as I explained that I had assigned each family member a color. I am going to defend that one! It works!
Most highlighters, sticky notes, and other planning tools come in the colors red, blue, yellow and green. Those are the colors that we have adopted.
Our family command center is on the side panel of our fridge. It is not easily seen when you enter the room. I was careful in choosing a system that did not draw too much attention. This one is by Martha Stewart for Staples in white to match the background.
To the left are three magnetic containers stuck to the side of the fridge. These house colored chalk and school rewards (Box Tops and Labels for Education).
The cork board at top shows our reoccurring weekly schedule and reminders for that day. Each entry is marked with a color to show who it belongs to. I have also pinned Girl Scout badges that must be adhered to my girls' vests. Anything small that I don't want laying around!
At the very bottom of our command center are our action items. This is my solution for getting these papers off of my counter! Each paper is labeled with a due date or event date which is written on these awesome sticky tabs that come in our family colors. I was looking for a solution for filing these papers in a way that I could see who belonged to what and when it had to be done at a glance. I thought "hmm ... I wish removable colored tabs existed". I hit up the clearance bin at an office supply store and there they were! Oh happy day!
Toward the back are monthly schedules in tabed page protectors. These include the school lunch menu, schedules for the kids' activities and Momma's gym schedule.
Weekly Rundown — We recently graduated from a small stick-on chalkboard surface to an entire wall ... and I absolutely love it! I have no idea why this self-professed handwriting enthusiast and doodler did not do this sooner.
This wall had always been magnetic in order to hold up the girls' artwork without destroying the wall. Now, it is both magnetic and chalk-ready. This is where I write the family's changing weekly schedule. Of course, each item is written in the color chalk to link with the family member it belongs to. Not because I am crazy ... OK, not only... but because it is a lot quicker than having to write out who that item belongs to every time! (See I told you the colors made sense!)
So, that is how we get down with family organization. And that is just scheduling! I didn't even touch upon school lunch or homework organization. Geez, Louise!
I hope that you can find an organization tip or two that may work for your family.
Tell us, how you do differently in the comments below. I am an equal opportunity organizer who is open to all ideas.